Raise your hand if you gained a few this quarantine season 🙋
#realtalk though. Our bodies are incredible machines. It does everything in its power to keep us safe. Including weight gain!
I know what you're thinking. "Say whaaaat? My body is putting on weight to PROTECT me?!?!"
Let me break it down.
Stress is any perceived threat to the body (key word here is perceived!!!). Our adrenal glands are neuroendocrine tissue that secretes hormones to allow the body to cope with stress. Cortisol, in particular is secreted during times of long-term stress. This is the hormone that causes us to crave sugary foods and caffeine. It's the hormone that tells our body to store more fat to protect our internal organs from damage. Interestingly enough, this same hormone is secreted when our blood sugar is low!
Now, evolutionarily speaking, this adaptation made perfect. Our long-term stress of the past had been things like famine (not to say this isn't still a problem in many areas of the world), and freezing to death. So putting on weight to protect yourself from literal death made sense.
Here's the kicker - even though many of us are not worried about food security, or risking freezing to death, our bodies still respond in the same way they did thousands of years ago.